One in five (22%) of female tech founders say they are not being heard by male investors. This is the findings of a new survey published by AllBright. The ‘FoundHER Female Founders’ survey also found that access to capital remains the largest challenge facing women in business today.
Louise Doherty is founder of tech start-up PlanSnap and graduated from business accelerator, Techstars, in Feb 2017.
Doherty, who is currently raising capital for PlanSnap, commented: “Raising investment is one of the hardest things any entrepreneur has to do, but for women the bar is even higher. Investors unconsciously tend to back companies solving problems they understand or led by people who look, speak and act like them, and most investors are white, male and over 45. That’s before you even consider more overt sexism which many women entrepreneurs experience.
“We chose to do crowdfunding for PlanSnap because it means we don’t have to navigate outdated rules of fundraising. Anyone who believes there must be a faster way to make plans with friends can invest in us directly, making it a much more democratic way of raising capital. Women also have a 75% success rate for crowdfunding compared to 55% for men. We’re in the middle of our investment round now but we raised £100,000 in our first 48 hours and are fast approaching 80% of our target."
The gender gap in tech is widening globally - only ten percent of investor funding goes to women-led ventures. With the funding odds stacked against them, it’s not a surprise that fewer than 15% of European start-ups are founded by women entrepreneurs. Consider this - VC-backed women-led tech firms bring in 12% higher revenue than male owned tech companies. And their ROI is a whopping 35% higher. It’s estimated that in the UK alone, if every single woman who wanted to start her own business had the support to make that possible, it would immediately produce 340,000 new businesses and support 425,000 new jobs.
That said, Crowdcube investors historically do fund women. Female entrepreneurs on the platform have a historic funding rate of 75% compared to the 55% achieved by their male counterparts. In the last quarter alone, female founders have successfully raised nearly £6m for their businesses.